astronomers of the Pujalt Observatory (Barcelona) have observed the first signs that Didymos, the asteroid against which NASA expressly impacted a spacecraft last week to try to modify its course, has deviated slightly.
As reported by the Pujals Observatory, which is monitoring the asteroid, 160 meters in diameter, need to wait a few more days to confirm whether the deviation has been as expected or not.
“Science advances from experimentation and with this experiment we will have more information to know how to deflect dangerous asteroids in the future,” Pujalt observers recalled in a statement on Monday.
The asteroid was more than 10 million kilometers away at the time of impact and therefore the device made the entire final stretch until impact completely autonomously. the asteroid Dimorphos It is a satellite of another asteroid that is Didymosabout 840 meters in diameter.
From the Astronomical Park of the Pujalt Observatory, in collaboration with the Institute for Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC), the CSIC and NASA, they monitor this phenomenon and have been able to capture images of the moments after the impact thanks to the TGS telescope 20 inch
These images have been shared with the researcher Josep Maria Wheat (IEEC), which in turn is part of NASA’s DART project team.
«All this information, and subsequent captures in the coming nights, will serve to confirm the change in dynamics that humans have produced in this pair of asteroids. All this will help to have more information when planning in the future years from now how we can deflect asteroids that could be a danger to life on Earth”, the Pujalt astronomers have highlighted.
According to the Catalan observatory, “for now the mission can be considered a success given that the DART ship reached its destination” (abbreviations in English for Redirection Test of a Binary Asteroid).